To Obama, McCain Campaigns: Take The Obama Challenge

Obama responded to a question by claiming that inflating the tires was every bit as important as producing more oil:

There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy,” Obama said. “Making sure your tires are properly inflated – simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling – if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!”

He also said:

“They’re making fun of a step that every expert says would reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.”

One site does the analysis for us:

Just for fun, I did the math. Properly inflating your tires can improve gas mileage by 3%. Of course, many people already keep their tires properly inflated, and many more are at least close to being properly inflated. Let’s be generous and assume that one-half of the total possible savings would be realized if we all inflated our tires properly; that’s a net gain of 1.5% fuel efficiency.

Americans drive approximately 2,880 billion miles per year. If we average 24 mpg, we use around 120 billion gallons of gasoline in our vehicles. If, through perfect tire inflation, we improved our collective fuel efficiency by 1.5%, that would be 1.8 billion gallons. A barrel of oil produces around 20 gallons of gasoline, so the total savings available through tire inflation is approximately 90,000,000 barrels of oil annually.

How does this stack up against “all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling?”

ANWR: 10 billion barrels
Outer Continental Shelf: 18 billion barrels (estimated; the actual total is undoubtedly much higher, since exploration has been banned)
Oil shale: 1 trillion barrels

And, of course, few cars on the road today actually need “a tune-up,” with computers automatically making adjustments that used to have to be made by a mechanic.

But a lot of liberals simply can’t grasp the conservatives’ argument. Obama is sticking to his position, and lock-step liberals claim that Republicans are the ones who are all wrong.

So I have an idea: let’s take the “Obama Challenge.”

Let’s have the Obama campaign inflate the tires of their cars and their airplane as much as they please, while the McCain campaign puts fuel in the tanks of their cars and their airplane. And then we’ll see whose campaign stalls first!

Obama says more air, not more oil; McCain says more oil, please.

This is my prediction: I’m betting on oil. John McCain promises to produce more of it; Barack Obama – at least until his last policy reversal – promised not to produce any (we could even allow Obama to use all the non-drilling energy sources he wants to fuel his fleet). I’m guessing “more oil” will beat “more conservation” 10 times out of 10.

We need oil. We are currently obtaining 70% of our oil from foreign countries, and paying $700 billion dollars a year for the privilege.

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